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Iran launches satellite into orbit

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, August 18, IRNA

Iran-Space Technology-Satellite

On the auspicious occasion of birth anniversary of Imam Mahdi (May God Hasten His Reappearance), Iran launched a new rocket to carry a satellite into orbit on Sunday.

Experts said the launching represented a potentially significant if much-delayed step in Iran's efforts to join the international space club.

Safir-e Omid, or Ambassador of Peace, is part of Iran's long held goal of developing a space program.

Safir-e Omid is a satellite to monitor natural disasters in the earthquake-prone nation and improve its telecommunications. The satellite has also data processing capability.

Iran hopes to launch four more satellites by 2010, the government has said.

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